Michigan Secretary of State Expanding Online, Self-Service Options Soon

Thanks to a massive upgrade of Michigan’s driver records system due for completion next month, the Michigan Secretary of State will expand online and self-service options for drivers very soon.

Among the new online services for customers from the Michigan Department of State will be the expansion of several capabilities of self-service stations to include driver’s license and state ID transactions next month.

The new customer conveniences will be available when a massive upgrade of the department’s driver records system currently underway gets launched on March 16th, following two years of preparation. Due to the switch-over, branch appointments, online and self-service station transactions will not be available from 5 pm Thursday, March 11th to 9 am Tuesday, March 16th while the system is brought online.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says, “Customers will now be able to renew or replace their driver’s licenses and IDs at any of our more than 130 new self-service stations across the state, and renew or replace their enhanced licenses and IDs online,” and adds, “We have continuously expanded and improved customer options and service, even during the pandemic, and this upgrade will truly make our operations better than ever.”

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The project securely combines tens of millions of driver and vehicle records into one integrated customer record system and moves the department from a decades-old legacy system to greatly improved customer service technology. The department’s vehicle records system was modernized in February of 2019, and work to upgrade the driver records systems began shortly thereafter.

In addition to the many services already offered online, new online services at Michigan.gov/SOS will include:

  • Renew or replace an enhanced driver’s license or state ID if no new photo is required
  • View the status of the requested driver’s license or state ID
  • Request and obtain a driving record
  • Add a motorcycle endorsement to an eligible driver’s license
  • Access streamlined business services

In addition to the vehicle services already offered at self-service stations, new self-service station transactions will include:

  • Renew a standard or enhanced driver’s license or state ID if no new photo is required
  • Request a replacement and print out a temporary license or ID
  • Add a motorcycle endorsement to an eligible driver’s license
  • Sign up on the state’s organ donor registry

The department has 135 self-service stations, with more planned, in branch offices and other locations statewide, including select Meijer and Kroger grocery stores. Transactions on the machines are currently offered in English, Spanish, Arabic and Vietnamese. All of them accept credit cards and some accept cash.

In coordination with the new technology launch, the department will also implement the following improvements for customer service:

  • An electronic lien and title program will begin, making lien and title information available online for lienholders in lieu of a paper certificate of title if their financial institution participates in the program.
  • The graduated driver licensing process will be simplified to reduce customer visits to branch offices. Student drivers will be issued a photo license hard card for a GDL Level 1 license, instead of a paper license. They won’t need to return to the branch office for their Level 2 or Level 3 licenses and their operator’s license will be mailed to them upon turning 18.
  • The Dearborn Secretary of State office at 5094 Schaefer Road will be closed from Feb. 22nd to Feb. 26th to move to an adjacent suite in the complex that is larger. The new office will open March 1st. Benefits to customers and staff include a new counter design with partitions, a larger lobby, public restrooms and 24/7 customer access to a self-service station. Area residents with appointments affected by the closure have been notified and rescheduled to other nearby branches.
  • Four Upper Peninsula branch offices that are located in the Central Time Zone (Bessemer, Iron River, Iron Mountain and Menominee) will shift their hours to 8 am to 4 pm CST to match the operating hours of the rest of the department’s branch offices, which are open from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

You can learn more about Secretary of State services at this link: http://Michigan.gov/SOS.